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Bicycling News Digest - August 8th, 2007

  • Alberto Contador was coming down with something at the finish of the Tour, and states that he "was no longer the strongest rider on the team." We also learned today that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has opened an investigation against Contador related to his alleged involvement with the Operation Puerto affair. This overturns the UCI's earlier decision to acquit Contador of any involvement in the case.
  • Floyd Landis will be riding in the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race this weekend. Lance was scheduled to appear, but at this point seems to have backed out. Floyd will have to settle for racing against Lance's coach, who had been training to compete against him at the race.
  • Another nail in the coffin for the Astana team: Craft, their apparel sponsor has cancelled their contract with the troubled team. This follows an announcement last week that their bicycle sponsor BMC dropped them. Vinokourov continues to claim innocence.
  • The up and coming Slipstream Sports/Chipotle team has added Magnus Backstedt to their squad. He joins David Millar, Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vandevelde, Julian Dean and Danny Pate in what is looking to be a very strong team. The Slipstream team is being built around a very strong anti-doping environment. They are hoping for wild-card invitations to the 2008 Paris-Roubaix and Tour de France with the eventual goal of securing a Pro Tour license in 2009.
  • German team T-Mobile heads into this weekend's Deustchland Tour unsure of continued sponsorship. There is a press conference scheduled for August 9th at which it is expected T-Mobile will announce whether they will keep supporting the team.

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Vuelta Stage 7 plus Other News

Raul Garcia de Mateo and Jesus Rosendo broke away from the peloton only 3 km from the start of today's stage, eventually building up a nine minute lead. Their breakaway was aided by a big crash in the peloton with about 30km to go, but they still ended up being caught about 7 km from the finish. 
The sprinter's teams worked to move their riders to the front, but another crash within 2km of the finish blocked many of the contendors from previous days, such as Pettachi, Bennati and Freire. Allan Davis, Eric Zabel and Paulo Bettini were lucky enough to be ahead of the pack in a bunch sprint and fought for the stage amongst themselves. Allan Davis looked to have it wrapped up, but Zabel came around on the left in the final seconds to take the stage. Davis took second and Bettini was in third. There was almost no change in the G.C. today, with Vladimir Efimkin still on top. 
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Other news: Alejandro Valverde is expected to sue the UCI for the false pu…